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It seems that black velvet is the material of choice, but I have never seen a discussion of other alternatives. I tried some black velveteen (not velvet) and wasn't very impressed. (Differences?)
It would seem there should be materials that are specifically designed to absorb or "scatter" light efficiently and are specifically made for that purpose. One that I have come across (and may very well try) is an adhesive backed material made by Thor Industries. This is a high-tech firm and this material is specifically designed for photo and other applications. It sells for $27 for a 30" X 30" sheet.
This could be cut into strips as necessary.
Does anyone know of other materials of this type?
Thank you.